Two or three weeks ago, I woke up to some news that there was a new Miss USA.
And I noticed one thing.
She was African-American.
Yes, there have been African-American winners in the past. I can think of two, most notably Vanessa Williams. She won when I was 14 years old. We were all happy about that, with her being the very first.
But, this morning was different. I didn't have my glasses on, but I noticed that, in my fuzzy nearsighted eyesight, that she was dark.
I grabbed my glasses and jumped out of bed in one huge move. Before I knew it, I was standing in front of my television, a few inches from screen. And I saw that it was what I thought.
"She's chocolate," I whispered. I looked at my forearm, even placing my arm against the screen. "She's dark like me."
I was happy about that. Surprised, but happy.
Why surprised? Because we usually don't see this type of thing. Miss America, Miss USA winners and the like are usually of the same type: Caucasian with long blond or brunette hair. Now, this may not be the case in the past couple of decades, as I don't even care to watch these shows. In the AA community, we have our own intraracial issues where light-skinned is considered better than dark-skinned. So I hate to say it, but I am not all that interested in watching white women walk across a stage in bathing suits. I decided at an early age that this has to something that men like.
But it surprised me, even as a woman in my mid-forties, that she'd won. I think it is ingrained in my subconscious... lighter skin is better, and white skin is even better. I know this is not true, but something made me jump up out of bed that morning to look closely at something that wasn't the norm.
With that said, I was happy about it.
And more so, I was happy for some little chocolate girl out there to see someone that looks like herself win a beauty contest.
That does much for her self-esteem so early in life.